Childhood Apraxia of Speech


Childhood Apraxia of Speech

Speech Plan services 

Childhood Apraxia of Speech (CAS) associated with 'delayed speech' is a motor speech disorder that prevents children from speaking. They usually have acceptable receptive language and know what they want to say. However, they have difficulty formulating their thoughts into speech. Children with Apraxia struggles in coordinating oral movements needed to create sounds into sounds, syllables, words, and sentences. 

Characteristics of CAS

●    Difficulty in producing different vowels. 
●    Inconsistent errors, especially distortions and vowels
●    Increasing errors within increased complexity of utterances, such as multisyllabic words
●    Depending on the words' complexity, the child may produce the same sound correctly in one word and with errors in another word. For example, the child with Apraxia may say the sound /p/ in the final position in the word /up/ but not in 'laptop.' 
●    Self-initiated sound productions and involuntary speaking are easier than voluntary speaking.  
●    Difficulty in alternative sequential repetitions of syllables 
●    Effortful repeating words and syllables such as groping and looking for the correct sound placement
●    Inaccurate speech prosodies such as slow rate; deficits in the duration of sounds, monotone, and choppy speech
●    Poor speech intelligibility 

Treatments of Apraxia

Oral-motor exercises improve strength, range of motion, and coordination of the lips, tongue, and jaw. Creating your daily oral-motor exercise routine can improve speech coordination and sound productions over time. Remember, exercises should be consistent and include levels of resistance. We have to add that the role of strength in speaking is minimal; however, muscle strength is essential in coordination and facilitates sound productions. 

Children with Apraxia and speech delay sometimes demonstrate drooling and low muscle tone. 
Research does not support oral exercises to improve speech productions; however, oral exercises that target sound productions and movement coordination can be the fundamental therapy for Apraxia. These exercises facilitate sound production and regulate oral tactile sensitivity. 

use verbal, visual, or tactile sound cues

Some children with speech impairments (Apraxia, speech delay, Autism, etc.) may show drooling due to low sensory awareness in their facial muscles. 
There are simple ways to improve sensory-tactile awareness and muscle strength to stop drooling, facilitating sound productions. 

1.    Have your child drink with a straw, holding with his lips, not biting it. 
2.    Stimulate your child's oral cavity using a soft toothbrush or infant teether to increase swallowing the saliva using lip closure. 
3.    Stimulate taste buds with different flavors.a
4.    Encourage your child to blow ( using horns, bubbles, balloons, candles in games)
5.    Whistling is another fun activity that can improve facial muscle tone.
6.    Use the vibrant toothbrush to increase sensory-tactile awareness. 
7.    Have your child rub their lips by smearing lips with an edible flavored substance (sweet or sour). 
8.    Play fun games of taking turns to puff up cheeks, modeling, and using mirrors.